UofL survives challenge from regional rival to win 3-2
By: Trey Curry
DAYTON, Ohio. – Senior outside hitter Anna DeBeer tallied a career-high 24 kills, while hitting .353 with two aces, 11 digs, and two blocks, to lead the No. 2-ranked University of Louisville volleyball team to a 25-17, 23-25, 25-19, 19-25, 15-11 win over Dayton on Wednesday night in Dayton, Ohio.
The road win moves Louisville to 7-0 on the season. The Cardinals hit .283 as a team with a season-high 63 kills, eight aces, and 12 blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Cara Cresse recorded 12 kills and 8 blocks, while graduate outside hitter Aiko Jones had 12 kills and four blocks. Sophomore setter Elle Glock had a career-high 46 assists, and junior libero Elena Scott had 20 digs and 9 assists.
The Flyers hit .209 with seven aces and nine blocks. They were led by Lexie Almodovar’s 22 kills, as they move to 5-2 on the year.
Louisville is back on the court this Sunday in a showdown with No. 12-ranked Penn State at 1:00 p.m. inside L&N Federal Credit Union Arena. The match will be televised on ESPN2.
Dayton recorded the first two points of the night after attack errors by Louisville, but the Cards bounced back quickly, taking their first lead at 4-3 after back-to-back kills by DeBeer. The set was tied at 10 before the Cardinals went on a 7-0 run, featuring three kills by Jones and two from DeBeer, forcing a Dayton timeout. The Flyers notched two consecutive kills out of the timeout, and with the score at 18-13, the Cards reeled off five straight points, highlighted by two kills from Cresse, to take control of the set at 23-13. A service error gave the .391-hitting Cardinals the 25-17 set win.
With Louisville leading 8-7 after some early back-and-forth action, the Cardinals went on a 4-0 burst, headlined by an ace from DeBeer and kills from her and Cresse, to put the Cards in front 12-7. Heading into the media timeout, Louisville led 15-10, but Dayton came out on an 8-2 run, with the help of three kills by Almodovar, to take an 18-17 lead and force a timeout by Coach Busboom Kelly. Dayton scored again coming out, but Louisville eventually tied the match at 20 and even took a late lead at 22-21 from a kill by middle blocker Reese Robbins. The Flyers then reeled off three straight points to take a 24-22 lead that they wouldn’t relinquish, winning the set 25-23 and tying the match at 1-1.
Set three was a set of runs, which first started off with the Cards trailing 6-4 early in the third set, but then scoring four straight points, featuring a Cresse kill and multiple errors by the Flyers, to take an 8-6 lead. Dayton followed that with three straight of their own, highlighted by a kill from Taylor Russell, to take the lead at 9-8, before Louisville reeled off four straight to put them out in front at 12-9, forcing a Dayton timeout. A kill by Dayton’s Alayna Yates halted the momentum briefly, as the Cardinals then scored three more straight points, capped off by Glock connecting with outside hitter Charitie Luper for a kill to give the Cards a 15-10 lead. An ace by Luper gave Louisville a 17-11 lead and forced another Dayton timeout. Later in the set, the Flyers trailed 19-15 before scoring three straight to come within one at 19-18. The Cardinals, leading 20-19, then reeled off five straight points as setter Brigitta Petrenko finished the Flyers off with back-to-back aces to give Louisville a 25-19 set win and a 2-1 match lead. The Cards hit .273 in the set with 14 digs.
Dayton scored the first three points of the third set before the Cardinals got on the board from a DeBeer kill. The Flyers led 5-3 later in the set before Louisville went on a 4-0 run, with Cresse and Glock teaming up for a block on top of two kills from Jones, making the score 7-5. Louisville remained in the lead at 11-10 before the Flyers scored five straight points, as a kill from Karissa Kaminski made the score 15-11 heading into the media timeout. The Cards went on a 6-1 run coming out of the break, with three kills from DeBeer and an ace from Jones, setting the score at 17-16. Dayton then went on a 6-0 run, featuring three kills from Russell, putting them out in front at 22-17 and in control of the set. A kill by Liana Sarkissian gave Dayton the 25-19 set win and tied the match at 2-2.
The Cardinals began the deciding set by scoring the first five points, with two kills from Jones and a kill each from DeBeer and Cresse. The Flyers fought back into the set, coming within two after blocking an attempt by outside hitter Alanna Bankston, but two consecutive kills by DeBeer and Jones forced a Dayton timeout with the score at 10-6. The Flyers again cut it to two at 12-10 with another Almodovar kill, which led to a Louisville timeout. Middle blocker Phekran Kong halted the Flyers’ momentum with a kill out of the timeout, and DeBeer concluded the match with a kill of her own to give the Cards the 15-11 set win.